NetEqualizer News: December 2014


December 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we discuss our recent K-12 Schools award, introduce IPv6 shaping for NetEqualizer, and remind everyone of 2015 pricing changes. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

As we close out 2014, I smile as I think of what this year has taught me, both professionally and art_smallpersonally. Professionally, I now know that IPv6 really will be a reality in 2015, as you will read more about below. I have also learned that sometimes surprises are good – as we share with you that we received an unanticipated (but very welcome!) award from District Administration (a K-12 Schools publication) this month.

And personally, I learned that at my age I need to make sure to hydrate before a long run!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

We Are Honored! NetEqualizer is a K-12 School Top 100 Product in 2014

We have always known that the NetEqualizer is great (you have too!), but it is wonderful when it is validated by an independent publication. Recently we learned that we were honored in the December 2014 edition of District Administration, a publication geared to K-12 School leadership.

NetEqualizer made the 2014 list of Top 100 Products for K-12 Schools! DA_top100_2014v2

The December 2014 Cover Story is the annual Top 100 Products, viewable in the District Administration online edition. According to the article, there were 2,400 unique nominations for the Top 100 this year, up from 1,800 in 2013. Winners were selected by the editorial board based on quality and quantity of the testimonials submitted from readers.

So, a big THANK YOU to the readers that submitted us for inclusion in the Top 100! We would not have received this honor without you. We truly appreciate you taking the time to say nice things about us, especially as we rely heavily on word of mouth to get our story out to our customers. If you would like to see our listing, we are on the bottom of page 52.

As we have not advertised in this publication in the past, and did not solicit inclusion for this award in any way, this took us completely (and happily) by surprise.

As Lauren Williams of District Administration mentions in her introduction to the winners, “This annual award alerts superintendents and other senior school leaders to the best products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel.”

If you have not seen the winners, take a look, you might find a product that is a good fit for your K-12 School.


2015 Pricing Coming Soon

As we close out 2014, just a reminder that we are still writing quotes using our 2014 pricing, and the quotes are good for 90 days. If you are thinking of trading-in your current NetEqualizer, upgrading your license level, or getting another NetEqualizer, now is a good time to get a quote from us.

We will be using 2014 pricing through January, and all current quotes using the pricing will be honored for 90 days from the date the quote was originally given.

Look for a preview of our 2015 Pricing in our January Newsletter. Our 2015 Pricing will be effective February 1st, 2015.


Ready or Not, Here Comes IPv6!

Just this past month, we have seen several customers begin to see 10% or more IPV6 traffic on their networks when they turned on their IPv4/IPv6 dual stack.

As you may know, today IPv6 traffic is viewable under the Management & Reporting menus. To see any IPv6 traffic that you have on your network, select View Current Activity -> View Active Connections -> Active IPv6 Connections.

However, as IPv6 has historically been a small percentage of overall network traffic, we have not focused our engineering resources to-date on adding IPv6 shaping.

That is about to change! To address the increase in IPv6 traffic, we plan on putting out a winter release with a dual stack of our own. Our goal is to have code ready for an initial beta test in early February.

Our engineering team has come up with a cool way to handle dual address schemes. The NetEqualizer dual stack will map IPv6 addresses into unused IPv4 addresses – so that you will be able to track, shape, and equalize IPv6 on a standard NetEqualizer.

If you are interested in hearing more, please contact us:

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300


Best Of The Blog

Case Study: A Simple Solution to Relieve Congestion on Your MPLS Network

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

We recently installed a NetEqualizer for a national healthcare company connecting hundreds of hospitals and clinics to a central location. We were able to solve all their congestion issues on their MPLS network, while saving them tens of thousands of dollars over other solutions. The centralized NetEqualizer solution is so elegant and simple that large IT departments, who are often wined and dined by vendors with expensive WAN optimization solutions, have hard time believing that we can solve their WAN issues at a fraction of the cost. In the coming weeks, we will release a detailed case study featuring this customer.

For now, here is the original blog article that explains our spoke and hub technology…

The problem:
A customer has a hub and spoke MPLS network where remote sites get their public Internet and corporate data by coming in on a spoke to a central site. Although the network at the host site has plenty of bandwidth, the spokes have a fixed allocation over the MPLS and are experiencing contention issues (e.g. slow response times to corporate sales data, etc.)…

Photo Of The Month
235
Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan is widely considered to be the best soccer player to ever come out of the United States. He has played for multiple national and international clubs. On August 7, 2014, Donovan announced that he would be retiring at the end of the 2014 Major League Soccer season; the season ended with the Galaxy winning their fourth MLS Cup of the Donovan era on Sunday December 7, 2014. This photo was taken by one of our staff members at a game last summer.

We are Honored! NetEqualizer is a K-12 School Top 100 Product in 2014


We have always known that the NetEqualizer is great (you have too!), but it is wonderful when it is validated by an independent publication.  Today we learned that we were honored in the December 2014 edition of District Administration (http://www.districtadministration.com/), a publication geared to K-12 School leadership.

NetEqualizer made the 2014 list of Top 100 Products for K-12 Schools!

The DDA_top100_2014v2ecember 2014 Cover Story is the annual Top 100 Products, viewable here in the District Administration online edition. According to the article, there were 2,400 unique nominations for the Top 100 this year, up from 1,800 in 2013.  Winners were selected by the editorial board based on quality and quantity of the testimonials submitted from readers.

So, a big THANK YOU to the readers that submitted us for inclusion in the Top 100!  We would not have received this honor without you.  We truly appreciate you taking the time to say nice things about us, especially as we rely heavily on word of mouth to get our story out to our customers.  If you would like to see our listing, we are on the bottom of page 52.

As we have not advertised in this publication in the past, and did not solicit inclusion for this award in any way, this took us completely by (happy) surprise.

As Lauren Williams of District Administration mentions in her introduction to the winners, “This annual award alerts superintendents and other senior school leaders to the best products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel.”  So, if you have not seen the winners, take a look, you might find a product that is a good fit for your K-12 School.

NetEqualizer News: November 2014


November 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we discuss features for our 2015 NetEqualizer Releases, announce a last call for trading in old NE2000’s and Lite units, introduce our NetEqualizer Holiday Giving Campaign, and share a technical tip on how to export data from NetEqualizer’s Dynamic Real-Time Reporting (RTR). As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

The holiday season is almost underway in the United States. Before I get caught up in thefancy thank-you

whirlwind of activities that seems to happen at this time of year, I’d like to pause and give thanks for all the blessings in my life. As we end our 11th year, I continue to be thankful for all of our loyal customers.

THANK YOU for putting your faith and trust in APconnections, we truly appreciate your business!

APconnections also likes to give back to those in need. You can read all about our NetEqualizer Holiday Giving Campaign below.

2015 NetEqualizer Release Plans

We have started planning out our 2015 releases. We are aiming for two releases in 2015:

8.2 – Extended RTRpenalties

Our first release (8.2) will be in the late spring/early summer timeframe. We continue our commitment to robust real-time reporting (RTR) by adding reports to extend our capabilities. 8.2 – Extended RTR is currently planned to include Penalty Graphs, Bandwidth Use by IP Graphs, a Pools Dashboard, Data Export Menus, and an enhanced Active Connections Table.

8.x – Cloud Reporting

As announced in our October Newsletter, we plan to offer data storage in a cloud environment. Cloud Reporting will give you access to longer periods of data, to help with your troubleshooting, capacity planning, and trend analysis needs. Look for more information in the coming months as we start to architect our solution.

We listen to you, and have taken into account feedback provided by those of you that have upgraded to 8.1 in our release planning. As always, if you have feature requests or suggestions, please contact us!

Once 8.2 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 8.1. If you are not current with NSS, or have not upgraded to 8.1, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


Last Call! Trade in Your Older NE2000 or Lite Unit

As we have announced previously in this Newsletter, we are discontinuing support for older NE2000s (any NE2000 purchased prior to August 2011) and the Lite series as of 12/31/2014.

We are moving our NE2000 and Lite license levels onto the NE3000 platform, which can support running our 64-bit software, and is better positioned for the future (more memory, more processing power, etc.).

If you have not already traded in your older NE2000 or Lite unit, we recommend that you do so at this time. As part of our Lifetime Buyer’s Guarantee, we offer a generous trade-in credit of 50% of the original unit price toward a new unit. While you will still be able to trade-in older NE2000’s and Lite units in the future, this is our Last Call because time is running out on Support (NSS) for these units.

Not sure if your NE2000 is an older unit? Call or email us and we will look it up for you.

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


NetEqualizer Holiday Giving Campaign

Join APconnections in giving back to worthy causes during this holiday season. For every new NetEqualizer that our customers purchase between now and 12/31/2014, APconnections will donate $25 to one of our selected charities.

It is that simple! Just buy the NetEqualizer that you were planning to get anyway in 2015, and you get to help us to do good for others, through the great work of these deserving charities!

To keep this simple, we have selected several charities, and will split the donation amongst them. Our charities for the NetEqualizer Holiday Giving Campaign are:

1) Toys for Tots: The mission for Toys for Tots is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

tft

2) The Hunger Project: The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.

29DRt83

3) Doctors Without Borders: Doctors Without Borders works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.

logo


Technical Tip: How to Export Your Data

Did you know there is a hidden feature in Release 8.1? Even though the menu option is not visible, it is possible to export the data in your reporting databases to csv files. You can export data for the previous 24 hours or data for the previous 4 weeks. What you do with it is up to you! Import it into Excel for easy graphing, save it locally for longer-term reporting, export data for a specific time period to analyze bandwidth-related issues, and more!export

Please note that the data is returned with Unix timestamps and is in bytes/second. Data for the 24 hour database is sampled every minute and data for the 4 week database is sampled every hour. To export your data, simply change the parameter “page” in the url to “export-data”. So, your URL would be something like:

[neteqIP]/newgui/RTR/index.php?page=export-data

If you need assistance with data export and are current on NSS, contact us at:

support@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300

Please note that General Penalty Data is not available or exportable at this time.


Best Of The Blog

More Lies and Deceit From Your ISP

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Back in 2007, I wrote an article for PC Magazine about all the shenanigans that ISPs use to throttle bandwidth. The article set a record for online comments for one day, and the editor was happy. I recall, at that time, I felt like a lone wolf trying to point out these practices. Finally some redemption, this morning, the FTC is flexing it’s muscle and is now taking on AT&T for false claims with respect to unlimited data…

Photo Of The Month
santa
Interactive Robotic Santa
One of our staff members’ recently stumbled upon an Internet-controllable robotic Santa in his neighborhood. The Santa is viewable via web cam and can speak text entered into the website. It can also play music and dance. Santa was relatively quiet until recently when the URL went viral and Santa was speaking non-stop! Email us for a link to check out the Santacam – but beware that Santa has a gift for gab and no content filter.

Do hotels ever block your personal wifi ?


Apparently at least one hotel does. We had written an article hinting that this might be the case  back in 2010.  Hotel operators at the time were hurting from the loss of phone call charges as customers turned to their cell phones, and were looking for creative ways to charge for Internet service.

Hence I was not surprised to see this article today.

FCC: Marriott blocked guests’ personal Wi-Fi, charged for Net access

Federal Communications Commission fines Marriott $600,000 after deciding it illegally interfered with conventiongoers’ hot spots in Nashville. Marriott says it did nothing wrong.

In its judgment, the FCC said “Marriott employees had used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to prevent individuals from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time charging consumers, small businesses and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network.”

read more

How to keep your IP address static with DHCP


One of the features we support with the NetEqualizer product is a Quota tool, which keeps a running count of total bytes used per IP on a network. A typical IT administrator wants to keep track of data on a per user basis over time, hence some form of Quota tool is essential.  However, a potential drawback of our methodology is that we track usage by IP.   Most networks use a technology called DHCP that dynamically hands out a new IP address each time you power up and power down your computer or wireless device. Most network administrators can track a specific user to an IP in the moment, but they have no idea who had the IP address last week or last month.  Note: there are authentication tools such as Radius or Nomadix that can be used to track users by name but, this adds a complex layer of additional overhead to a simple network.

Yesterday, when working with a customer, the subject came up about our Quota tool, and its drawback of not being able to track a user by IP over time, and the customer turned that into a teaching moment for me.

You see, a DHCP server will always try and give the same IP address back to the same device if the previous IP address is available.   So the key is keeping that IP address available; and there is a simple trick to make sure that this happens.

When you set up a DHCP server it will ask you the range of IP addresses you want to use. All one needs to do is ensure that the defined range is much bigger than the number of devices that will be on your network, and then you can be almost certain that a device will always get the same IP.  This is because the DHCP server only re-uses previously assigned IP addresses when all IP addresses have been assigned, and this would only happen if you defined your IP address range to a relative small number relative to the number of potential devices on your network.   There is no real extra cost for defining your DHCP address range as a Class B instead of the typical default Class C, which then expands your range from 255 to 64,000.  So make sure your ranges are large enough and feel free to track your users by IP without worry.

If you would like to learn more about our Quota tool, also known as “User Quota”, you can read more about it in our User Guide.

More lies and deceit from your ISP


Note: We believe bandwidth shaping is a necessary and very valuable tool for both ISPs and the public. We also support open honest discussion about the need for this technology and encourage our customers to open and honest with their customers.    We do not like deception in the industry at any level and will continue to expose and write about it when we see it. 

Back in 2007, I wrote an article for PC magazine about all the shenanigans that ISPs use to throttle bandwidth.  The article set a record for on-line comments for the day, and the editor was happy.  At that time, I recall feeling like a lone wolf trying to point out these practices.  Finally some redemption came this morning. The FTC is flexing its muscles; they are now taking on AT&T for false claims with respect to unlimited data.

Federal officials on Tuesday sued AT&T, the nation’s second-largest cellular carrier, for allegedly deceiving millions of customers by selling them supposedly “unlimited” data plans that the company later “throttled” by slowing Internet speeds when customers surfed the Web too much.

It seems that you can have an unlimited data plan with AT&T, but if you try to use it all the time, they slow down your speed to the point where the amount of data you get approaches zero. You get unlimited data, as long as you don’t use it – huh?  Does that make sense?

Recently, I have been doing some experiments with Comcast and my live dropcam home video feed.  It seems that if I try to watch this video feed on my business class Comcast, (it comes down from the dropcam cloud), the video will time out within about minute or so. However, other people watching my feed do not have this problem. So, I am starting to suspect that Comcast is using some form of application shaper to cut off my feed (or slow it down to the point where it does not work).  My evidence is only anecdotal.  I am supposed to have unlimited 4 megabits up and 16 megabits down with my new business class service, but I am starting to think there may be some serious caveats hidden in this promise.

Where can you find the fastest Internet Speeds ?


The fastest Internet Speeds on earth can be found on any police detective related shows, CSI, etc.  Pick a modern TV show, or movie for that matter, with a technology scene, and you’ll find that the investigators can log into the Internet from any place on earth, and the connection is perfect. They can bring up images and data files instantly, while on the move, in a coffee shop, in a  hotel, it does not matter.  They can be in some remote village in India or back at the office, super perfectly fast connection every time.  Even the bad guys have unlimited bandwidth from anywhere in the world on these shows.

So if you ever need fast Internet, find a friend who works in government or law enforcement, and ask for shared access.

On the other hand,  I just spent a weekend in a small hotel where nothing worked, their wireless was worthless – pings went unanswered for 30 seconds at a time, and my backup Verizon 4g was also sporadic in and out. So I just gave up and read a magazine. When this happens, I wish I could just go to the Verizon Back Haul at their tower and plug a NetEqualizer in, this would immediately stop their data crush.

End of thought of day

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